Friday, March 22, 2013

Pieces of my Heart

clipart courtesy of this site

I love my children.  I wouldn't change anything about my family dynamic, as crazy as it is.  4 kids 6 years old and under.  Crazy, right?  But awesome.  But sometimes I wonder why God gave me so many children.

Not because of the stress - which there certainly is a fair amount of.  And not because of the craziness or anything like that.  But because He KNOWS me.  He created me, after all.  And He KNOWS that I worry more than the average person.  About EVERYTHING.  Like panic-attacks-in-the-middle-of-the-night worrying, and that was BEFORE I had kids.

Here's the thing, and any mother will tell you the same thing.  Before you have kids, you have a normal sized heart, maybe even on the larger side if you have something you're really passionate about.  But then you have a baby, and you're not just giving birth to a child - you're giving birth to a piece of yourself, a piece of your heart.  The heart that stays in your body doesn't shrink, it grows to envelope the piece that is now on the outside.  And then you have another child...and another...and another.  Your heart never shrinks.  Oh, no - it grows infinitely more than you thought possible.

But now you have a dilemma.  You have several large pieces of your heart walking around outside your body, open to all the evils, dangers, and horrors of this fallen world.  You can't even begin to protect them from all the things that could harm them, and you come to the very acute and painful knowledge that life is fragile and there is NOTHING you can do about it.  Cars crash, diseases ravage, mistakes - sometimes tragic and fatal - occur.  And for all those mothers who have had this happen, they know that a piece of your heart dies.  You are never whole again and never the same.  No, I have never had this happen to me, praise God, but I can imagine.  And the imagining sends me to my knees in fear.

But I'm not on my knees crying in futility.  No, I'm on my knees before the throne of the Creator, begging His mercies.  He's my Savior, my Daddy, the one my soul desperately needs yet all too often fights against.

 "Daddy, PLEASE!  Protect my children!  I can't do this!  I'm terrified!!"

"Peace, my love.  I've got them.  Trust me."

"But, Daddy, something bad could happen to them!"

"Yes, it could."

"But I can't handle that!  My soul, it aches just thinking about it."

"My soul ached, too, when my son was tortured and died, but I did it for you..."

"How did you do it, Daddy??  How???"

"Sweetheart, I hold the future.  I hold the universe together in the palm of my hand.  I knew how the story ended.  I always know how the story ends, even when you don't.  And I'm always looking out for you.  It may not look the way you think it should, but everything works together for your best, to make you holy, and for My Glory.  Trust me."

"Daddy, I..."

"Trust me.  I love them more than you ever could.  I sent my son to die for them, too.  Point them to me.  If you want to protect them, release them into my hands - every second of every day - and TRUST ME."

Have I figured out how to do this?  Not even close, obviously.   Do I fail ALL the time??  Yes.  But when I'm on my knees, He reminds me.  I should be there much more often than I am.  Perhaps then the fears of this world would evaporate in the light and heat of His passionate love and glory.

"My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight,
    preserve sound judgment and discretion;  

they will be life for you,    
an ornament to grace your neck.   
Then you will go on your way in safety,  
and your foot will not stumble.  
 When you lie down, you will not be afraid; 
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.   
Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,  
for the Lord will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared."

                          - Proverbs 3:21-26

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Cloth Diaper Insanity - Part 2

Well, after Brian got home from bible study last night, I told him all about my frustrations with the cloth diapers.  He asked me if I had ever actually checked the absorbency of the liner.  I said yes, I had sprinkled water on it and it had soaked into the fabric.  Then he made a brilliant point that I didn't even think of - babies don't "sprinkle" - they spray a fire hose at it.  Er, at least boys do.  So today I did some experimenting.

The automotive wipes?  AWFUL!  I poured water on top and it poured through onto my hand, almost like there wasn't even anything in between.  Ridiculous.  But then I got curious.  I pulled out one of the liners I had made for the diapers that had a special wicking fabric on top and decided to pour a bunch of water on it.  I was SHOCKED!  The water literally beaded up and fell off, not sinking in AT ALL, until I had soaked it about 3 times.  No WONDER his diapers were constantly leaking!  I had only ever tried the liners with the wicking material, thinking "this will make it so much more absorbent"...WRONG!

Anyway, then I grabbed one of our birdseye cloth burp cloths and tried that.  It absorbed pretty well, actually - which is probably why it was used as diaper material in the first place.  You'd think as a history major, I'd remember to look to the past to find some of the answers instead of constantly trying to reinvent the wheel.  Goodness gracious.  Well, armed with this new information, I will try again!!  I have high hopes, people!

For more info about my cloth-diaper-making journey, check out posts 11.5, and 3.

Cloth Diaper Insanity - Part 1.5

Fabric choice - oh. my. word.  The ridiculous amount of fabric choices.  Focusing right now on fabric for liners to absorb all the junk.  I had read one blog that said to use automotive towels.  Nuh uh.  They don't absorb jack.  One super talented cloth-diaperer that I know uses hemp, but then I read that that starts to stink.  And cotton and bamboo tend to take a while to absorb.  Then I found out about something called Zorb that apparently absorbs super quickly, holds moisture under pressure, and is just amazing.  We'll see.  I ordered a yard, and with shipping it came to almost $20.  This stuff better stinkin' rock my world :/

For the rest of my journey through cloth-diaper-making, check out posts 12, and 3.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Cloth Diaper Insanity - Part 1

Oh, the HUMANITY!!

I've said it before - I'm cheap.  So with 2 kids in diapers, I figured "Why not try out this cloth diaper thing?".  But buy them?  Oh, no.  Not me.  I have to prove to myself that I can do it.

I had tried this once before, with epically disastrous results.  I'm talking absolutely disgusting.  But I did a little more research this time and was inspired to try again.  I love the look of gDiapers - I think they're absolutely adorable!  So I set to work, looking up tutorials.

But I didn't want to just make a copycat gDiaper, I wanted to tweak it, improve it, make it my own.  I'm an idiot.  And I just HAD to make my own pattern, so that when it was a brilliant success, I could sell it.  Again, MORON.

I made my first version with knit fabric and waterproofing spray.  I guess it could have worked, but the spray cost $15 and covered all of 2 size small diapers.  A little piece of my inner cheapskate died.  Plus my design didn't fit baby boy right, so both fabric and spray were wasted.  Version 2 - used PUL on the inside and knit fabric on the outside, but it leaked right out of the seams.  Version 3 - I bound the seams with PUL on the sides, so it leaked right out the top where I hadn't bound the seam.  Plus, the fit wasn't great.  Version 4 - made the fit a little better, but still a leaker out the front.  What I wanted was cute stretch fabric on the outside that would be waterproof, but that is apparently a very expensive pipe dream.  (Not to mention that with washing, the waterproofing spray would have to be reapplied from time to time, too...)

So, I sucked it up and found some free patterns online for sizing and basic shape reference, and drew up yet another version.  The jury's still out on this one.  It's not at all what I wanted originally - It's made out of PUL.  It's not one of my cute fabrics like I wanted.  It's not the style that I wanted.  And I still don't know if it'll even work - it's in the dryer *hopefully* sealing up the holes from sewing.  Ugh.  Sometimes I wish I was a quitter, because I. just. can't. let. this. go. and it's killing me.  Say a prayer for me, folks.  You might see me sometime in the next few weeks running around the neighborhood, acting like Tommy Boy when he completely butchers the butcher joke - minus the foul language...

***UPDATE - Leaker.  Total and complete leaker.***

For more of my journey with making cloth diapers, check out posts 1.52, and 3

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Kid Friendly "Ants on a log" Dip

Short post today, but a yummy one!  My kids don't do too well with vegetable intake, especially if the vegetable is green.  But they LOVE dipping things, so here's an idea that they actually helped create.

I offered them celery today and asked them if they wanted "cheese" dip (I'll post the recipe for that later - they devour it!) or peanut butter...they opted for peanut butter.

Instead of taking the time to fill all the pieces of celery with peanut butter, I simply dropped a large spoonful of peanut butter in a ramekin and warmed it in the microwave until it was smooth and easy to stir, but not runny.  I gave them pieces of celery and some raisins if they wanted them.  When I looked back a few seconds later, they had dumped their raisins in the peanut butter and were fishing them out with the celery sticks.  Brilliant!!  So, if your kids love "Ants on a Log" but you don't want to take forever spreading peanut butter into celery sticks, do it this way!

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